NBA basketball franchise the Golden State Warriors is set to become the first team in the league to introduce personal seat licences that season ticket holders would need to obtain for its move to Chase Center.
Warriors officials said that in order to secure a season ticket at the team’s new privately financed $1bn (£769m/€869m) home, which is set to open in 2019, fans will be required to pay an additional fee for the right to buy those tickets.
Prices have not yet been revealed, but a team official confirmed to ESPN that the availability of season tickets will decrease. Currently, the club provides 14,500 seats for its most dedicated fans at its 19,600-seat Oracle Arena home in Oakland, which will be cut back to 12,000 at the 18,000-capacity Chase Center in San Francisco.
ESPN reports that 6,000 of those tickets would cost $15,000 or less, while the remainder would set fans back by more than that.
The Warriors are calling it a “membership” program, in which fans can pay a one-time fee to ensure their seats for the next 30 years. The franchise has made a promise to its supporters that after the 30-year mark, it will refund the fee in full.
Since it is such a long-term commitment, the Warriors offer the option for memberships to be transferred or sold through the team’s resale marketplace.
“This is completely unique, and you cannot call it a PSL program,” Warriors president Rick Welts told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“What’s unique about it, for people who buy a Chase Center membership … you’re guaranteed that what you pay is fully refundable at the end of 30 years.
“You’re guaranteed to get 100 per cent back. In terms of safety and certainty about what you’re putting your money toward … that’s the most unique aspect and where the innovation is. There’s never been a team or stadium that’s offered that.”
While there are no other teams in the NBA league that charges for the right to buy a seat, a high number of NFL American football teams use licences.
ESPN reports that the Warriors already have a season-ticket waiting list of more than 42,000 people who pay a one-time fee of $100.
Image: Evan Blaser